Tag Archives: Google Apps

Nevada ACTE 2012 Presentations

One of the conferences that I attend every year is the Nevada ACTE conference in Lake Tahoe. I like this conference because it is small enough that you can have face-to-face conversations with peers from around the state, but large enough to provide excellent choices for presentations to attend.

This year, I presented three different topics. During the Administration Division meeting, I presented “Get Your Head and School into the Cloud.” The primary focus of this presentation was on how Google Apps for Education can improve communication, organization, and productivity for school administrators. This was one the more difficult presentations that I have had to put together because I am not an administrator. I help my school’s administrators get the most out of Google Apps, but I cannot speak on the day-to-day use as an administrator. The session went well as most of the questions focused on what the school as a whole does and not specific administrative duties.

My second presentation was for the Information and Media Technology division, titled “Every Thing in Evernote.” I was asked by the IMT division vice-president to talk about Evernote because every time I do a presentation, I mention it multiple times. This presentation was shorter in terms of time, but not much easier. It was difficult to set up and get ready to do back-to-back presentations in two different rooms on two different topics. This presentation went well because I was able to show examples of how I organize my classroom, curriculum, and other tasks using Evernote. It is hard to touch on everything that Evernote can do for a teacher in 30 minutes, but hopefully some of the teachers will be able to start using Evernote for their classrooms.

My final presentation was for the general sessions on the second day of the conference, titled “iPad Apps for Classroom Management.” This was my easiest presentation because I had done it before for an individual school in the spring. These are all apps on my iPad that I use to help manage my classroom. I do use additional apps, but these are the main iPad apps that are most helpful to me.

As far as sessions that I attended, Adobe did a hands-on session using some of the new tools is CS6. While I don’t have CS6 in my classroom, it was great to see what is new and I can’t wait to get the software in my classroom. Jayme Rawson from East Career and Technical Academy did a great presentation title “Common Core State Standards – Putting it ALL Together” (PowerPoint file). She did a great job explaining that we did not need to know every aspect of the Common Core State Standards as CTE teachers, but how we can help English and Math teachers accomplish their goals.

I was the moderator/assistant for the other two sessions that I attended. Steve New, also from East Career and Technical Academy, did an excellent presentation on screen-casting titled “Maximizing your time while minimizing your effort through Screen-casting“. He did a good job explaining the options for screen-casting (PC and Mac), the benefits of screen-casts, and tips for beginners. The final general session that I observed was “Math, the Brain, and CTE” by Laura Reed. This presentation focused on providing hands-on math activities for CTE students since they tend to be kinesthetic learners.

Overall, it was a great conference that was informative and gave me some things to think about as the start of the school year approaches.

ISTE Day 1 – A First for Everything

Today was my first day at the ISTE conference – I skipped Sir Ken Robinson’s keynote because I had seen him a few months ago at the ACTE conference. I wasn’t sure what I should expect from ISTE, but the day contained a few surprises.

Every session was full so get there early. I have been to conferences where there are one or two sessions that are full during the entire conference. Today, I attended five sessions and all five sessions were full. For the first time attending any conference, I had a perfect record of picking sessions. I  went to five great sessions where I picked up something new or was inspired at each session.

Session 1: Are You in Top Form? Google Forms for Administrators – I use some Google Forms at school and our administration uses them as well. When I left this session, I was impressed by the templates and the formulas that make them work, the amount of data that was collected in these forms was incredible, and I realized that our school and myself do not use Google Forms enough to collect data.

Session 2: Becoming a Mobile Learner – Two years ago, the iSchool initiative video was shown at the Nevada ACTE conference. From the minute I saw the video, I was texting my principal and CTE coordinator that this is what we should be doing at our school. Two years later, I work at a school where 10th-12th grades can opt-in for an iOS device and was recognized for being an Apple Distinguished School. It was great to see how the iSchool initiative has developed over time. It was also great to get some apps to look at including: iStudy Pro, Cramberry, Meal Snap, and TourWrist (which I heard about 4 times today).

Session 3: Google Slam: GCTs Share New Tricks for Some “Old” Tools – I use Google products frequently and think that I am pretty good at most Google products. I learned several new “slams” that I will be able to use in my classroom including Google Voice for receiving questions from students, Form Emailer Scripts, and YouTube annotations.

Session 4: There’s an App for That! Finding Real Solutions with Today’s Apps (Version 2.0) – I was looking forward to this presentation all day because some of the educators on the panel were some of the first people I started to follow when I joined Twitter and I subscribed to their blog RSS feeds. While they did take some criticism in the backchannel for they way the technology was working, I was actually impressed how smooth it was going. It is difficult to alternate and project six different iPads using Apple TV and I thought they did a great job. This session was all about apps and I got a few that I can use including Mindo, Green Screen, and Tapose. The only thing that I wish was added to this session was that each panelist could have stated their favorite app.

Session 5: Beyond Googling: Using Technology To Build A Culture of Inquiry – Another session that I was looking forward to all day for the same reason as above. I have seen other presentations online from Chris Lehmann and this one did not disappoint. At my school, we do some similar things to the Science Leadership Academy and it was great to hear the stories from Chris and be inspired to do more with our project-based learning projects.

I have several other take-aways from today’s sessions and will post those once I fully absorb them. It is getting late and I am looking forward to day two of ISTE.

Pre-ISTE Conference

I leave tomorrow for my first ISTE conference. I spent a couple of hours last night going through the program and the concurrent sessions listed on the ISTE Conference website. ISTE makes it easy for you to keep track of the sessions that you want to attend. If I like a session, I just click “Add to Planner” and it adds it to my digital planner on the ISTE conference site – which I can download later. I go through all 13 sessions and then check my planner to see what my schedule looks like. Like most conferences, there are multiple sessions at the same time that I would like to attend, but there were a few time slots where I had up to four sessions that I had added to the planner. I am sure that this will get reduced when a couple of co-workers and I decide to divide and conquer through the sessions.

As it stands right now, the majority of the sessions that I want to attend focus on iPad apps, Google Apps, and blended learning environments. I love technology and attending sessions on these topics and,hopefully, it will make my life easier when presenting professional development in the fall and when presenting new content to students. I will try and post updates on this blog and on Twitter throughout the conference.